Ok so having just reviewed the little sister known as the 12yo Doublewood it wold seem rude not to say hello to the 17yo version and just see if the extra years of maturation have done anything extra..
As with the 12 yo this has been mainly matured in re-fill bourbon casks before given a ” finishing ” period in first fill sherry casks.. This 17yo also has an added % abv so is now at 43% so not a massive jump but it has to be better..
Nose.. First thing to notice is dates, raisins and oak. Second up is the vanilla and toffee notes along with sugared almonds and a little marzipan and icing sugar.. The oak is quite prominent and soft spices ride on its back..Cinnamon and a little ginger come through with subtle coffee aromas and delicate honey notes.
Palate.. Straight into some typical sherry flavours.. dates, raisins, chocolate, coffee, liquorice and honey all explode to give you a barrage of flavours, then the oak takes over, the spices raid your senses and you get that typical feel of the Balvenie’s expressions.
Finish. Spicy with an oak twist.
Thoughts.. Is this better than the 12 ? .. Yes it is but it does also leave you a little flat at times. The nose is subtle and needs plenty of time to open and the palate, although it’s bigger and juicier it just feels like it falls a little short.. The abv increase over the 12 has just lifted it a little but at the price range I’d much rather have the Balvenie’s 15yo single barrel ( either the departed bourbon cask or the heavenly sherry casks) This 17yo does carry some good notes and I know most will enjoy it immensely..